Boy, oh boy.  Do I have a salad recipe for you!


The second batch of Holy Deliciousness Hummus is… delicious.  I predict we’ll crush this tub in less than 24 hours. 


Summer Salad




  • 2 cups raw packed spinach
  • Four strawberries, sliced
  • Four cooked and chilled beets, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pepitas seeds
  • 1/4 cup Holy Deliciousness Hummus


I squeezed in a 5K this morning.  Thank goodness it was overcast because I didn’t leave until well past noon.  It was a really relaxing run.  Per some of your advice, I’ve changed the settings on my Garmin so I can’t look at pace anymore, and I must say – it’s awesome.


On my run, I was thinking about heel striking and my Vibrams – I haven’t worn my minimalist shoes in forever.  I just fell out of the habit of breaking them in, you know?  I’m going to rummage in my closet and find ‘em for a walk around the neighborhood later. 


I really need to get my heel striking under control (here’s why).  I kept trying to ‘retrain’ my gait while running in my regular sneakers, but the moment I stop thinking about actively correcting my heel striking, I revert back to my injury-inducing gait. 


Maybe wearing my Vibrams more often will help?  Thoughts on stopping the heel-striking habit?


Also – has anyone read Chi Running?


I’ve heard such good things about it and am looking for a great book on running form.  Help save my heels!



  • Nicole August 13, 2011, 3:14 pm

    I have that book….it was just, meh.

    • Caitlin August 13, 2011, 3:14 pm

      Can you loan it to me?

      • Paige August 14, 2011, 2:47 pm

        I run injury FREE now b/c of this book! Read it!

  • Baking N Books August 13, 2011, 3:21 pm

    There are some good concepts in the book. I haven’t looked into it in years now though.

    “Holy Deliciousness Hummus” – so is that what it’s going to be called in your book?! 🙂

  • Errign August 13, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Question – how did you discover you were a heel striker? Just by paying attention to your feet hitting the ground, or did you experience pain first?

  • Karen August 13, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Ever since I’ve changed from a heel to mid-foot strike, my injuries have been few and far between. Changing my foot strike has made all the difference in the world. I’ve just tried to be more aware of how my feet are landing and it’s a new habit that I’ve ultimately gotten used to. Just keep trying!

  • RJ August 13, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Caitlin, I can’t recommend Chi running enough! Ok the book is a little dry but the best thing to do would be to go along to a workshop. I am sure there will be a chi running workshop near you somewhere. If you check out their website you can find details. Me and my hubs took a workshop in London with Danny himself and it was brilliant. Neither of us were big runners at the time but there were all kinds of runners there. My husband completed the Edinburgh marathon (his first race ever) in May, all training done in mininal shoes.He had no injuries at all. I am currently training for my first 10k, again in either 5 fingers of Vivo barefoot’s Evo. You just can’t heel strike in mininal shoes. It hurts like hell, so you have to change! A workshop really is the best way though. If you want any more information just email me. I can offer the hubs up for a race recap too? Sure he won’t mind!

    • Caitlin August 13, 2011, 4:05 pm

      Oh I would love a guest post from your husband about chi running and his training and race! That would be awesome.

      • RJ August 13, 2011, 4:18 pm

        Fabby, have just told him what he needs to do!

  • Aine @ Something to Chew Over August 13, 2011, 3:52 pm

    My boyfriend has this problem so I’d appreciate any tips too!

  • Lisa Fine August 13, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I read the book, and wrote a review here:

    While I was into it at first, I noticed I was having the same pains when using his technique.

    Since then I’ve been using Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run plan, and find that by incorporating enough walk breaks, I keep my knee pain and shin splints at bay. Plus, while some people think walk breaks can slow you down, many people have qualified for Boston using Jeff’s approach! Not bad. 🙂

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 13, 2011, 3:54 pm

    Wow sounds like a good resource and interesting book judging from the early comments. I’m pretty sure I am a heel striker just by the way I wear down my shoes…the heels are always ground down first…then again, who knows. I don’t really have any more/less injuries than other runners NOW..but used to. I truly think that finding yoga 12 years ago SAVED my legs, hips, etc 🙂

  • Heather Montgomery August 13, 2011, 3:54 pm

    Get some Newtons!

    • Caitlin August 13, 2011, 4:05 pm

      What are newtons???

    • Kate August 14, 2011, 9:18 am

      Newtons are AWESOME. just got my 1st pair a few weeks ago… CAtlin they have a special ridge on the bottom if your sneaker right a mid foot , so you have to change your stride and use a mid foot strike to be able to run in them! They take a while to her used to tho’

  • Hillary August 13, 2011, 4:01 pm

    I’m a huge heel striker, and I constantly need to be thinking about my gait so as not to injure myself any more. My newest running shoes (Aisics 2160s) have helped me a LOT. They’re very stabilizing and naturally force me to change how I run.

  • kalli August 13, 2011, 4:02 pm

    the book really helped me correct my form. i had terrible hip and psoas problems and it helped though i ended up skimming through certain parts. yes use your vibrams more too! i switched to nike frees and i think they helped me too.

    • Caitlin August 13, 2011, 4:05 pm

      Neat 🙂 Glad you are experiencing less injury now.

  • Jill Will Run August 13, 2011, 4:03 pm

    I love Chi Running. It’s one of the books I picked for my Birthday Book Giveaway on my blog this week! I attended a whole clinic on it too which helped a lot. I would love to become a certified Chi Running instructor!

  • Wendy August 13, 2011, 4:04 pm

    I’ve been working on changing over to the Pose method of running, which I think is similar to Chi. Look on YouTube, there are lots of videos on form and drills you can do to retrain yourself. I find it easier to work on my form when I’m running short intervals rather than a steady state run.

    • Caitlin August 13, 2011, 4:06 pm

      Oh thanks for this recommendation!!

      • Wendy August 13, 2011, 4:16 pm

        Try this video to start: and also this website:

        I imagine a string connecting my foot to my hip, and pulling my foot straight up toward my hip. I need to get someone to watch me run, I have no idea if I’m doing it right. But I have noticed that my 400 times have been decreasing since I started using the Pose method.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey August 13, 2011, 4:12 pm

    I’ve read part of Chi running – I learned so much even in the first 5-10 pages! It was enlightening! I’m a heel striker too – I wonder if that’s causing some of my pain problems in my hips?

  • Army Amy* August 13, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Fellow heel-striker in the house! I’ve made some attempts to adjust my gait, but not ever very seriously or for very long. I’d love to hear more about Chi Running and how to correct my heel striking.*

  • Allyson August 13, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Careful with changing you foot strike because that could lead to new injuries.

    When I switched to a lighter shoes (Brooks Ravenna 2 from the Nike Structure Triax) I accidentally changed from a heel striker to a forefoot striker. Although the change made all of my hip pain disappear, I developed a nasty case of tendinitis in my forefoot. Although I went to a podiatrist to rule out a stress fracture, a shoe store employee was the one who looked at my old and new shoes who picked up on my change in foot strike.

    So please, be careful (Vibrams should help you slow down). I have heard from many qualified people (podiatrists and exercise physiologists) that heel striking is not bad and that changing your foot strike could hurt you more than help you. Plus there is no definitive evidence that one is better than the other. Maybe I’ve just had a bad experience, but personally I can’t see how going against you natural bio-mechanics could be good from your body.

    • Anna August 13, 2011, 4:33 pm

      Allyson, THANK YOU! I’ve had the same exact experience. I bought some vibrams awhile back, and while it eliminated my ankle pain, I found even more intense pain on the top of my forefeet after every run. I don’t think that only minimalist OR conventional shoes are the right way to go–different strokes for different folks. One kind of shoe that works for one person may not work for another. That’s what I’ve discovered at least.

  • Ange August 13, 2011, 4:22 pm

    I, too, am a heel striker. I just switched from the Asics 2160 to the Brooks Ravenna 2 and noticed that I’m striking more mid-foot with the Brooks shoes – I think it’s because they’re less cushioned than the Asics. I’ve also found that shortening my stride and increasing my turnover had made a huge difference in my foot striking.

    I want to work towards running in barefoot shoes, but I’m not quite ready to spend more money on shoes just yet 🙂

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION August 13, 2011, 4:26 pm

    What worked for me was shortening my stride. I tend to over extend myself which leads to the dreaded heel strike. Training myself to shorten the stride was the easiest solution, as it became habitual after a while. Now, looking at my pictures, I’ve really improved my form AND my knee issues. 😀

    Let me know if you read that book and what you think of it! I’ve been considering it for a while now. 😀

  • Laura August 13, 2011, 4:30 pm

    I read Chi Running after I tore my cartiledge in my left knee. It is really hard to learn or try to re-adjust how you run again. But overall, a lot of the concepts have stuck with me. I am always thinking about my form because of Chi Running. I recommend!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith August 13, 2011, 4:56 pm

    OMG I met Danny Dreyer at an expo last year and I was freaking star struck! My husband was talking to one of his assistants and said, “My wife loves his books, can she get a picture with him?” I was mortified, but secretly happy. 🙂 Here’s the pic –!

    • RJ August 13, 2011, 5:15 pm

      He is such a lovely man and very inspirational. We got a photo with him too at the end of the workshop. Turns out his mum is of Scottish descent so we tried to persuade him that next time he should visit his ancestral home and hold a workshop in Edinburgh, not London!

      • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:07 pm


  • Emily @ The Swallow Flies August 13, 2011, 5:14 pm

    I am about halfway through Chi Running and LOVING it! I’ve adjusted a few elements of my gait, and it’s working well so far! If you want a funny yet inspiring read, check out Dawn Dais’s The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women. HILARIOUS.

  • Khushboo August 13, 2011, 5:16 pm

    Shame on you Caitlin for leaving out goat cheese!

  • Lizzy August 13, 2011, 5:21 pm

    i would love to learn how to take the pace off my garmin, but still see time and distance!

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:07 pm

      I’ll try to do a post about this later!

  • Alaina August 13, 2011, 5:34 pm

    I think I need to have my gait analyzed. In race pictures, it looks like I’m always slouching. And I get hip pain too. I’m sure my form is all wrong. My sister in law gave me Chi Running for my birthday a few years ago. I haven’t read it yet; I think I need to start. 🙂

  • Karen August 13, 2011, 6:09 pm

    I made that hummus today, and it really IS good! Thanks! 🙂

    Re: form, here is a great read on running form that I occasionally go over as a refresher. The author is the moderator of a popular running forum; he is trained by an Olympian and is writing a book on running. He is wicked fast. I practice his techniques all the time when I’m running solo: checking my shoulders, hands, the way my feet land, etc. to make sure my form is good as can be. It’s very meditative and has really helped me become a better runner!

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:06 pm

      Yay! I am glad you liked the hummus.

      Thanks for this link!

  • Corrie August 13, 2011, 6:12 pm

    I found Chi Running to be very helpful. The visualizations of engaging the core and being pulled forward by that are SO helpful, especially when the fatigue starts to set in. The brain concentrating on the core instead of the legs almost makes me feel like my legs get a little rest.

  • Allyson August 13, 2011, 6:24 pm

    My husband and other friends who are track coaches say we shouldn’t really try and change your gait, causes more injuries. Just focus and try to work on your form. At our age and running “experience” we shouldn’t change gait.

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:06 pm

      Ah, okay. So form, not gait!

  • D August 13, 2011, 6:25 pm

    I have looked through Chi Running a lot at the bookstore, but I found it more frustrating than anything. I found myself getting paranoid when I was running…making sure my arms were swinging right, I was leaning at the right angle, etc. Not fun! I switched from heel to mid foot and it’s made a huge difference for speed and posture, but it just took a lot of practice and mental reminders to myself. I have vibrams too, but I don’t think you need a book or a shoe to learn how to change your gait. Just feel it and practice! I tried to check in with myself every 5 min or so and make sure I wasn’t getting lazy, until it became second nature.

  • melissa (fitnessnyc) August 13, 2011, 7:06 pm

    haven’t read it but my friends love it!

  • Donna August 13, 2011, 7:27 pm

    I just learned that spinach is 49% plant protein. Had no idea. Did you know?

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:05 pm

      Interesting! It’s a pretty awesome food 🙂

  • CJ @ August 13, 2011, 9:11 pm

    I love fruit on my salad!!! I had pineapple and strawberries on all my salads today and yesterday! Maybe tomorrow I’ll switch to apples 🙂

  • Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine August 13, 2011, 9:13 pm

    Hahah that is the best name for hummus I’ve ever heard! If I ever saw that in the store, I might buy it just for the name 🙂

  • Brittany P.S. August 13, 2011, 10:04 pm

    Wearing your vibrams will certainly help train you! Beware though, running on them without striking with your forefoot could lead to more injury and I don’t recommend it. I’m a competitive track/cross-country runner and I wouldn’t be able to compete at all if I didn’t strike with my forefoot. My team uses video review to help our technique, I suggest getting that fella of yours to video your gait, review it, try again, repeat. That way you know as soon as you do it right! I also do all of my training in minimal runners/racing flats. You’ll know you’re on the right track if your calves kill! (I apologize for the novel) 🙂

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:05 pm

      This is great advice Brittany 🙂 Thanks!

  • Robyn August 13, 2011, 10:19 pm

    My husband was a high school track coach and now coaches in college. He has told me that while I should work on technique, I shouldn’t change my stride. He video taped me running on the track several times and found that I was leaning too far back. He suggested trying to pull my chin down to bring my head and my torso in better alignment. Also, the biggest thing was to work on my core because the core will give the support I need to hold my technique longer. Check some of your rjnning pictures and see where your torso is. Anyways,his suggestions have helped. I have gotten better.

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:04 pm

      Ah, interesting. I will try to lean a little forward – I think I lean back too.

      • Wendy August 14, 2011, 1:29 pm

        Be sure you lean from the ankles, not the hips! Think about keep your body in a straight line, but leaning forward from the ankles up.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats August 13, 2011, 10:32 pm

    I definitely need to work on my running form. I’ve only run as far as 6.5 miles and I’ve had so many issues since I have a small curve in my spine! I run on my right leg at an angle and my feet kick each other when they pass one another! Since my goal is to run a half marathon I’m looking for all the help I can get!

  • Nicole August 14, 2011, 12:01 am

    You should look into actually taking a Chi Running Wksp. They do them all over and I’ve heard they are amazing! I’m thinking of doing one once I get back into running. I’m training for a 62 mile ride in Sept. so I haven’t done much raining lately.

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:04 pm

      I’m going to see if I Can find a workshop!

  • Nicole August 14, 2011, 12:02 am

    Bah! Auto correct! *running lately!

  • Sara August 14, 2011, 12:05 am

    I’ve been meaning to check out that book. I’ve heard great things about people’s experience with the technique.

  • matt August 14, 2011, 12:24 am

    Focussing on landing on the forfoot or switching to minimalist shoes is the worst way to learn to stop heel striking. Heel striking is the result of an incorrect stride. If you forefoot strike but with a bad stride that is arguably even worse than heel striking. You should land with your foot directly under your center of mass and think about pulling your leg up by bringing your heel towards your but. You should focus on avoiding putting your legs out in front of you.

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:03 pm

      This is great, Matt! Thank you!

  • Ash August 14, 2011, 12:36 am

    Caitlin: the Vibrams will absolutely help your knee issue. I had the same problem as you and switched to Vibrams (and now Merrell Pace Gloves), and my knee issue disappeared. The trick is starting with very low mileage and slowly increasing every week. If you are running properly with a midfoot strike, your cadence will be around 180bpm (fast). I tried Newtons, which promote a forefoot strike, but I find the midfoot strike more natural and the vibrams just felt better.

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 1:03 pm

      I’m going to look into these Newtons. Everyone is talking about them!

  • Jessica August 14, 2011, 7:04 am

    Prior to this I actually had no idea there was a Chi Running book – but I’ve read about it, talked about it with people that have been to clinics, and watched videos and even just that, I feel, has helped me. The shorter strides and “falling” into the run really helped me visualize and then put it into action.

    That said, it’s still something I have to think about. If I go off in la-la land in a run I’ll find myself right back to my old ways 😛 (newer runner here) I’d love to try some Vibrams!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 14, 2011, 7:41 am

    I’m the same way with my running form! The second I stop thinking about it, I start heel striking again. 😛 I’ve been noticing some twinges in my knee lately, so I really need to get my form under control!!

  • Gracie (complicated day) August 14, 2011, 10:13 am

    Not a fan of changing your gait. I think some people heel strike, some people don’t. Changing it up either way throws your body into re-learning the safest way to run and it’s an invitation for injury.

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) August 14, 2011, 12:10 pm

    I read that book. It didn’t help me… I think insoles did, though!!

  • Amber K August 14, 2011, 12:36 pm

    Hummus and greens make such an awesome combination!

    I hope you can figure out a way to run that doesn’t injure you, because that is NO fun!

  • Jaclyn August 14, 2011, 1:21 pm

    I’ve read Chi Running and thought it was really good. It explains the physiology behind the recommended running form in a way that is clear and easy to understand, and it totally makes sense. I took a Chi Running workshop from a licensed instructor and found that really valuable as well. Definitely recommend!

  • Julianne August 14, 2011, 8:36 pm

    My local running store has a good form running clinic weekly – I took it last week, so check with your local running stores, they may offer something. Anyhow, I learned I am a MAJOR heel striker. There are 4 things to keep in mind I learned, good posture, land on the midfoot/don’t over stride, lean from the ankles (flexing at the ankle reduces the muscle strain from toeing off) and increase your cadence – the goal should be 180 foot strikes a minute. Since I do almost all of these things wrong, it probably is why I have awful IT problems right now. Since its a lot to keep in mind and remember, they recommended focusing on improving 1-2 things at a time. Cadence was the recommended step, since once you improve that, a lot of other things fall into place as well. Hope this info helps!

    • CaitlinHTP August 15, 2011, 10:04 am

      This was a great comment. Thank you!

  • Amanda (modernation) August 15, 2011, 8:53 pm

    I took a Chi Running workshop about 4.5 years ago when I was training for my first tri. It was really interesting and made sense, but it is definitely something you have to consciously work on and that makes it hard for me.

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